Try these outside-the-box weight loss tips

Try these outside-the-box weight loss tips

Have you tried the trendy weight loss tips but wanted more? Or are you looking for a couple of small tweaks in your lifestyle to shed those last few pounds?

Elizabeth Zawila, a registered dietitian at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital’s Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., frequently works with her clients to improve not just their diet, but their overall wellness to meet their fitness and health goals.

Beyond her usual advice of eating fewer processed foods, cutting back on sugar and high-fat foods and exercising frequently, Zawila recommends a few outside-the-box but common-sense suggestions:

Get to bed

We get our energy from two places: food and sleep. When we are low on one energy source, we often turn to another, Zawila says – which is frequently higher energy, carb and sugar-loaded foods. Chalk up another whole-body benefit to getting plenty of sleep, she says.

“Getting to bed at a reasonable time can do wonders for how a person feels. Waking up refreshed and well-rested can help us make healthier food choices, eat more reasonable portions and have energy for physical activity. Additionally, it can help us avoid the mindless eating that often accompanies being tired and stressed.”

Sit down and slow down

The tip doesn’t refer to your activity level – instead, it should be your mantra when eating, Zawila says. That goes beyond not shoveling down your food and finishing your plate before your body realizes it is full.

“So often, we multitask while eating, which keeps us from feeling fully satisfied from our meal. Eating at the table or sitting down in a relaxed setting can help us feel satisfied with a sensible portion of food,” says Zawila.

Go to bed with a plan

Ward off nighttime nibbling by planning out a tasty breakfast the next day that you can eat right when you wake up.

“Instead of raiding the pantry after dinner looking for snacks, you can remind yourself that you’ve got something delicious planned for first thing in the morning, thus making it easier to talk yourself out of mindless night-time snacking.”

Plus, it helps make sure you eat the all-important first meal of the day, which jumpstarts your metabolism, makes sure you don’t overeat at lunch and gives you the energy to start your day.

Drink more water

This tip is two-fold – first, your body frequently confuses thirst with hunger. Before snacking or deciding to impulse-order delivery food, grab a glass of water and see if that helps curb your cravings.

Second, sugary beverages can add a lot of calories without satisfying your appetite or leaving you feel 200-300 calories fuller.

“Drinking 300 calories of pop before lunch usually won’t decrease the amount we eat at lunch, whereas eating a 300-calorie snack before lunch would. This is why sugary beverages are so troublesome. A taste for unsweetened beverages is something we can actually work at acquiring. It could be as simple as drinking more water, or it could be developing a taste for unsweetened tea or seltzer water,” says Zawila.

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  1. Practically every dietician in the world claims that drinking water can make you feel fuller, yet I have never seen a credible study showing that. I think anyone who thinks that drinking water can reduce hunger by one iota has never struggled with weight. Also, it seems evolutionarily crazy that the body can’t distinguish between hunger and thirst.

    In any case, if dieticians are really interested in helping people lose weight, what they need to be doing is combating the societal forces that lead to it. If you want people to get enough sleep, slow down and eat, take time to cook healthy food, get plenty of exercise, etc., there is no way most people can do that while working 8+ hours a day plus commute time. Dieticians should be at the forefront of the movement to limit work to five or six hours per day, no more than four days per week. Poor eating, sleeping and exercise habits are a result of capitalism. Humans are not designed to work like that and physical problems including but not limited to obesity are the logical outcomes thereof.

    • So it’s not about making you feel full. Drinking water is about making sure your body is functioning at its best capacity. Every cell in your body requires hydration. You are mostly water… Most of the United States walks around severely dehydrated and pumping caffeine into their system. What you will notice from drinking water is that when you are hydrated, you have less cravings, less headaches, and are less tired.
      How many times have you hit somewhere around two or 3 PM in the afternoon and started to get tired and thought oh well I must need food? Or oh I must need that cup of coffee or energy drink?
      Instead of ripping the article and the dietitian, a part, maybe consider trying to get half of your body weight in ounces of water a day for a week and see if you feel any different and if the scale moves for you if that is something you are working on.

  2. So, Dienne
    You are incorrect. Getting sleep and slowing down while you pay attention to what you eat is one of the best ways to lose pounds. I have lost weight just by moving more and paying attention to what I put in my mouth daily. I’m not a expert by any means, but getting up and moving helps the body shed pounds. I also walk on my lunch, bring a health lunch and snacks to eat on while I work a 8+ hour shift. The reasons people make excuses is because they themselves are not willing to push beyond the tired and laziness of American culture. Stop blaming work, dieticians, the government and society. You and me as an adult make decision everyday over our lives and others lives. When you get sick of being unhealthy and stuck in a rut you will see this article in a different light. The more water you drink the more the body stops craving food. eat lots of protein that helps with hunger, move more that takes your mind off of food and eating. I’m in control of my body and it will listen to what I tell it. I have changed my mind set and now I feel better than I did in my 20″s & 30’s. What ever I put my mind to with god’s help I can do it. you can too. Just try something different and watch what I say you will feel your best.

  3. While an individual has an amount of responsibility over their own choices, to say that society has no role in the fact that there is an obesity epidemic is part of the problem. Assuming that people just need to eat better, move more, be less stressed, maintain a regular sleep schedule, etc. First of all, not all jobs even allow for that. Not everyone has a standard 9-5 job with a set lunch hour. Not everyone even has a set schedule week to week, and sometimes between work, school and/or family obligations people are doing all they can to just survive day to day. Then someone comes along andlls them that all they need to do is be more committed to eating better and walking on their lunch break, the one they haven’t even gotten a chance to take in the last few weeks or that they currently use to cram in whatever personal business has to happen during the day. It isn’t helpful and it dismisses the real struggles these people have. Just because you found a way to make improvements in your life, doesn’t mean there isn’t a bigger societal problem.
    And none of this even addresses the legitimate health issues people can have that can contribute to difficulties losing weight.

  4. Dienne,
    We will make time for what is important to us. We have to choose everyday to make changes in our everyday life. Obesity in America is not new to anyone, but we have to choose what is right for ourselves. Again I don’t have a 9-5 job either, but by law if you work 7 hours or more you have the right to a lunch break period. Now like I said earlier I don’t work a regular 9-5 I work 8hrs + but my health and weight lose is important to me so I make time in my schedule to workout and get a good nights sleep. Yes, the struggles are real, but the article is saying get rest and drink water it may help with weight loss. All the other stuff although real life issues and is currently happening is irrelevant for this article that was posted. Maybe on another plat form this would be a great topic to drive into. Many people struggle with weight loss and are depressed and angry with articles like this . But in reality we only live one life and we should take care of the body God gave us. Yes, that does mean diet and exercise weekly, but I still believe it is a choice and we must choose wisely.

  5. You are a product of your own effort.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.